HARRISON, N.Y. — While the Gulf Coast prepares to clean up the mess from Hurricane Isaac, residents in Eastchester may soon feel the residual effects as gas prices are rising to record levels following the storm’s landfall.
Just in time for the last heavy driving weekend of the summer, the Category 1 storm is wreaking havoc with gas prices nationally. According to AAA New York spokesperson Robert Sinclair Jr., the average price of gas has risen from $3.71 to $3.82. In New York, the increase was less severe, rising four cents to an average of $3.99 a gallon.
At the beginning of the month, the cheapest regular gas in Harrison was selling for $3.99 a gallon at the Gulf gas station at 150 Halstead Ave. The price at that station has risen sharply to $4.29, according to GasBuddy.com. The cheapest gas in Harrison is selling for $4.19 at Citgo at 40 Halstead Ave., according to GasBuddy.com.
The high prices do not bother Harrison resident Lisa Mariani, who was filling up her car at a Shell Station at $4.29 a gallon before heading to Long Island for Labor Day weekend.
“I usually get my gas in Jersey, Connecticut or Long Island,” said Mariani, who visits friends there every weekend and works in Connecticut. “I usually never get it here because of the gas prices. I just ran low, which is why I’m here today.”
Mariani only filled up her tank halfway and was planning on filling the rest in Long Island.
“We’re not feeling the effects of Isaac as much as other regions in the country. This hurricane is far weaker than Katrina was,” Sinclair said. “We haven’t heard a word on actual damage to refineries or pipelines, but several companies suspended operations, and others don’t have electricity.”
Gas prices began rising before the hurricane hit, as companies sought shelter from the storm, and are expected to continue to increase, Sinclair said. Prices typically peak in the middle of the summer and begin to decrease around Labor Day. And, with the latest increase, gas prices will be as high as they’ve been all year, he said.
“We probably won’t see the hit we saw in 2005, when prices went up 44 cents a gallon in the week following Katrina,” he said. “Nationally we peaked in April at $3.84 a gallon, so we’ll beat that soon.”
“A lot of the major oil infrastructure is in the Gulf Coast,” Sinclair said. “They are a major source of distribution, and there are many pipelines that emanate and go to the rest of the country. With the storm reaching land, it is going to greatly affect the rest of the country.”